The number of 5G connections is forecast to double over the next two years, thanks to technological innovations and new 5G network deployments in more than 30 countries in 2023 alone, according to a report by GSMA Intelligence
GSMA Intelligence is a part of GSMA, an industry organisation representing mobile operators worldwide.
Of the new networks to be deployed this year, 15 are expected to be 5G standalone, the report said
Moreover, consumer connections surpassed one billion at the end of 2022 and will increase to around 1.5 billion in 2023 before reaching two billion by the end of 2025.
The growth momentum confirms 5G as the fastest generational roll-out when compared to 3G and 4G, the report noted.
As of January 2023, 229 commercial 5G networks globally and over 700 5G smartphone models were available to users.
Growth will come from key markets within APAC and LATAM, such as Brazil and India, which have recently launched 5G networks.
India will be especially significant, with the expansion of services from telcos Airtel and Jio in 2023.
GSMA Intelligence expected India to have four 5G networks by the end of 2025, accounting for 145 million additional users.
Many of the new 5G markets scheduled to launch networks in 2023 are in developing regions across Africa, including Ethiopia and Ghana, and Asia.
Although 5G adoption in the sub-Saharan region sits below 1 percent, it will reach over 4 percent by 2025 and 16 percent in 2030, primarily due to a concerted effort from industry and government organisations to provide connectivity to citizens.
As of January 2023, more than 90 fixed broadband service providers had launched commercial 5G-based fixed wireless services in over 48 countries. This means around 40 percent of 5G commercial mobile launches worldwide currently include a fixed wireless access offering.
The enterprise market will be the main driver of 5G revenue growth over the next decade, the report noted.
(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)